Nobody Knows Where China Is

Kids, you would not believe the shenanigans that have been going on behind the scenes while I’ve tried to write this thing. I feel it’s important to share them with you, so you can fully appreciate the land-mines I navigate in order to bring you this entirely useless batch of thoughts.

As I sat here, tapping away on my keyboard, half-watching Frasier on Netflix and not Googling compromising photos of Jennifer Lawrence, a fight erupted from the other room between two of my offspring. It would seem one of them does not know how to find China on a map, and the other found that such an egregious  lack of mental aptitude that the only recourse was to heap very loud verbal abuse upon the non-China knowing party of the first part.

Having grown up at the tail end of a large group, my knee-jerk reaction is usually to side with the younger party  in any domestic battle, but I also don’t want the party of the second part to grow up nursing a mean case of middle-child syndrome, so I feel it’s important to…you know what? I really just wanted them to shut the hell up, I was trying to watch Frasier.

Would you please put a sock in it??

You may have noticed it isn’t Wednesday. I was unable to post anything on Wednesday of this week because I forgot.

So my lovelies, here is my

Starting Five

1. Reclining seats

John Q. Public has officially gone crackerdogs over the wretched discomfort of flying on a commercial airline.

Hell is other people

To the surprise of NO ONE, passengers are behaving like caged animals—three incidences of fights and grounded flights over leg room in the past what, ten days? The most recent story involves a woman who went nuts on a flight from New York to Florida because the person in front her tried to recline their seat. The woman then told the flight attendant to, and I’m paraphrasing here, “consume excrement and expire”.

Once many years ago, when my strapping teenaged son was but a baby, he puked on the McDonald’s counter at the gate minutes before we were to board a flight to Florida. Once on the plane (of course we still went, are you crazy?), as I was wrestling him into his seat, a blue ball point pen that he had smuggled in via his diaper exploded all over me. Did I mention I was also hugely pregnant with my third child?

I’m just trying to get to Florida

The only reason I didn’t tell the nearest human on that plane that day to eat shit and die was because of the three inches extra leg room I had to calm my nerves and restore my humanity, lo those many years ago.

Are you listening, airline powers that be?

2. What’s Up, Doc?

Barbra+Ryan= chemistry

Watched this 1972 Peter Bogdanovich classic last night with my daughter. It absolutely holds up, unlike, I am very sad to report, 1979’s Breaking Away, which I attempted a few nights previously with my son.  I’m sorry! I know, I loved it back in the day, too. But upon re-watching, it’s, well…hmmm. That kid pretending to be Italian all the time really grates on the nerves.

This has been happening a lot lately, me forcing my children to watch movies that I assure them are wonderful, only to be proven otherwise to the soundtrack of their guffaws. The Untouchables, anyone?

Warning: This movie is not nearly as good as you remember it being


How about Big Trouble in Little China? What’s Up Doc, however—dang, I wish comedies like that came along more often. Hilarious.

3. This Picture:


Sleep well, kid!









Take a good, long look, amigos. Drink it in.

It’s terrifying, right?

I don’t know if any of you have heard of this website called Facebook, but occasionally these memes float around on it that prod members to reveal secrets about themselves via a list of some sort. The latest one to come my way asked me to list ten books that had touched my life for whatever reason.

The above picture is from one of the books on my list. It is called Marvels and Mysteries from Our Animal World, and it resided on a low shelf behind the television in my childhood home. It is filled with images like the one above, and I used to stare at them long and hard until I was completely freaked out, long before I could even read the words (which said things like ‘spiders are our friends!’ Ha. Too late for that, pal.)

I didn’t even remember what the book was called when I wrote my list, but my sister read my FB post and realized she had the book, so she brought it over. That’s a loving sibling for you; why leave a childhood trauma in the past when you can hold it on your hands for eternity?

The good news is, once I could read, I latched on to Edward Gorey’s The Gashleycrumb Tinies.

No really, nighty night!

Someday I’ll tell you about the effect The Exorcist had on me. (hint: it wasn’t good)

I didn’t sleep much as a kid.

4. The Trip to Italy

If you never saw the 2010 movie The Trip, starring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, watch it right now, immediately. Here’s a clip:

That’s pretty much the whole movie; two comedians traveling around England, eating food, cracking wise and trying to outdo each other’s Michael Caine impersonations.

It is great, and the sequel, The Trip to Italy,  is at my local artsy-fartsy theater. I mentioned a while back that it takes a lot to get me to actually go to a theater these days, what with my couch, my TV and my snack collection being ten times more awesome than whatever the local theater has to offer, but I’ll probably venture out to see this one on the big screen simply because I cannot wait.

Also, the crowd at the local independent theater is different from the crowd at the Cineplex; instead of chubby, rock-chewing kids texting their way through Guardians of the Galaxy, folks in hipster glasses, five-finger shoes and scarves the size of tablecoths are… chewing rocks and texting their way through British comedians doing Michael Caine imitations.

Maybe I will wait.

5. Brain-eating Amoeba found in Louisiana’s drinking water

Officials say don’t panic. Oh, OK!

That’s cool. I’ll just drink Gatorade


But I’ve actually been banned from reading WebMD or watching Dateline or ever, ever watching movies about demonic possession (again, that Exorcist story is for another day).

They say the water is safe to drink, just don’t let it go up your nose.

That’s like saying “Don’t think about yellow flowers, just don’t. Don’t think about them. Yellow flowers. No.”

Guess what you’re all thinking about right now?

I’m very thankful I don’t live in Louisiana, mostly because of the brain-eating Amoeba in the drinking water but also the humidity. My hair has enough problems, thank you very much. I guess the saving grace, should I ever snort up an Amoeba,  it won’t find much to nosh on between my ears.

Warm Regards,


One thought on “Nobody Knows Where China Is

  1. I’ll admit: I giggled when I scrolled past the orangutan that was in its mellow state of mind. Your self-deprecating sense of humor is MH gold. “Gold, Katie. Gold I tell you!”

    As far as airlines go, my two experiences were enlightening.

    On a trip back from Boston, I sat next to a corporate executive that ran a nationally-ran construction company. He was, I amusingly add, very open about the fact that his wife was much younger than him.

    However important — or not important — that may be, he was actually a nice guy. I’m a Nebraska native and, as it turned out, he graduated from the University of Nebraska – Omaha, a 40-minute drive from my current locale of Lincoln, NE.

    Point of this pointless (contradiction, damn) thought is that he ended up giving me his business card and has since been a connection for me.

    Sometimes the little things can outweigh the nuisance that is leg room.

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